Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sweat & Anxiety

The sweat would be Hank for all his hard work and the anxiety would most definitely be me.... well... because I'm that type of person.

The lot our house sits on is 1.5 acres and we have quite a few pine trees.  It has been said there were even more, but over the course of time I guess some people cut them down and we know a few have fallen.  One fell over the dining room a few years ago... which is why we have our new roof (we think).  Well, for some reason, the HUGE pine tree right over the driveway was still going strong.  Who would get rid of trees, but leave the one that is going to fall on the cars?  Hank and I have been saying we need to have a tree weekend.  Get all the dangerous trees out of the yard before our cars or house gets damaged.  Not to mention that our little neck of the woods is notorious for small tornadoes... oh... and hello hurricane season!  So, we finally set a weekend aside and decided to tackle the big one beside the driveway.

Meet Mr. Big Pine.

I was so dreading this...

I wanted no part of this...

But somehow, by being married to Hank, I'm kind-of married into helping with this...

So, we rented a man lift for the task.

Hank started cutting the limbs from the tree and I'm down on the ground (thank goodness) just waiting for my orders for the day. 

I guess I was too busy running around and doing what I was "told" to do, that I didn't take too many pictures during the cutting of limbs.  You see, in this Watson household, there is NOTHING worse than being needed for a task and NOT being one step ahead of the person who needs you.

Insert Example:  Hank is finished cutting a few limbs and needs to move the man lift.  He gets off the lift and limbs were not moved.  

Hank:  "Why are there limbs still here?  I need to move the lift and I can't because there are limbs in the way.  So now I have to move those?"  

Celia:  "I was taking photos... and you didn't tell me to move limbs."  

Hank:  "You can take photos later.  Now we're wasting time moving limbs when they should have been moved already.  You should always be thinking one step ahead of me."

Celia:  (thinking to myself... "I don't care... I'm not a man... this is men's work.")

So, Hank got as high as the man lift would take him, he removed all of the limbs from about 40 feet down and now it was time to top the tree.  Hank told me that he would cut the tree in a way, that when we attached a rope to it, attached the rope/chain to the truck, and I pulled the rope tight... the top of the tree would fall where we wanted it too.

I guess this is typical tree cutting stuff, but for someone like me, the first thing I can think of is... when I hit the gas to pull the tree down it will somehow swing and hit Hank... who is still 40 feet in the air... in the midst of sawing another 15-20 feet off the top of the tree... while I'm tugging on it.  

My anxiety is starting to rise at this time.

Celia:  "I'm just scared that the tree is going to hit you."

Hank:  "How can the tree hit me if you are driving away from me, pulling it down with the rope and chain?"

Celia:  "Well, what if it swings down funny and one of those limbs hits you?  Then what... you go falling down from 40 feet!"

Hank:  "Celia, I've done this my whole life and that is impossible.  Just do what I tell you and it will be fine."

Celia:  "You don't understand.  I have never done this and I don't know what to expect.  And don't get smart with me... crazier things have happened!  Freak accidents!"

Hank:  "It's my life up here... if I didn't think you could do it... do you really think I'd be making you do this???"

Celia:  "I'm sweating... I think I might pass out... I can't do this..."

Hank laughs... (not nice Hank)

Hank:  "You get in that truck, put tension on that rope, keep your eye on me.  I'm going to start cutting the tree.  When I yell at you go "GO!"... you floor the gas and "GO!".  That tree will fall away from me.  Oh, and if at any point you see the tree starting to fall before I do... you just gas it and go!"

Celia:  "Oh my goodness... and you are going to make me decide that?????"

So, I had no choice.  Marriage says for better or for worse, right?  Blah.

Hank started cutting the tree.  He stops and tells me to put tension on the rope.  I move the truck a little forward.  He cuts more.  He tells me to put more tension on the rope again.  He starts cutting again as I keep tension on the rope... and then he screams, "GO, GO, GO!!!!!"

Seriously... I'm not exaggerating... I was so petrified... and literally sweating with anxiety... I floored that truck!  And when the top of the tree fell down... the limbs stuck into the ground so hard, that it jerked the truck so hard... I felt like I had whiplash!!!!  Hank said he could hear the truck being jerked to a stop!  OK, I'm actually laughing right now... but I'm not kidding.... 

Here is the tree!!

And here is my mark on our yard.

And here is my husband laughing....

I don't know if this gives you any idea of how big this tree was?  Maybe you had to be here...

And then he made me do it all over again for the rest of the tree.

He has no mercy. 


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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Kitchen "Before" & "After".... Whew!

We finally had our backsplash go in and I am finally getting around to uploading the photos.  It's such a relief to have the kitchen finished... for the most part.  We still have a few things to do... pantry doors and trim around the ceiling and baseboards.  But, overall.... it's complete!!!

Please... bear with me and let me remind you of what the kitchen looked like before...
These were not the original cabinets, but they were old and nasty.  The lower cabinets were literally one LONG cabinet.  It was crazy pulling them out of there.  The floors were originally red oak, like the rest of the house, but linoleum had been placed over them... a few times.  The windows were original and paint was chipping everywhere.  And there was no way I was putting my food in that refrigerator and cooking in that stove.  The ceiling light... wasn't even centered...

And this is when we ripped everything out to start over.

And here are the end results!!!  Everything is new.  We pulled out the old windows and replaced them. 
New custom made cabinets with granite countertops.   And had tile put down.

We had a small desk built to put beside our refrigerator... where is was just open before.

We installed lights above the sink and workspace area.

We put in recessed lighting throughout the kitchen ceiling.

And.... when we installed the new windows, the trim was not original to the house and it was a mess.  
So, Hank had to build new trim around each window and doorway.


And last... but certainly not least... we had a new backdoor installed. 

It's such a relief to have this finished (besides a few small tasks).  We LOVE our new kitchen.  And to be honest, when we feel overwhelmed with everything we are still doing... it's nice to walk in there and see the end result.  It helps us "keep on keeping on" with the rest of the house!!!
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